Shonagh asked if I would go with her to a Tom Kenyon workshop on Sacred Relationship being held in the fall of 2005. I had a meditation CD of Tom’s, and I knew he did sound healing work and that he had a nearly four-octave voice; otherwise, I knew nothing about him. But in the interest of my budding marriage, I said yes. I expected five or ten couples sitting in a circle and working on improving their relationships.
But when we got to the workshop, I was stunned to see nearly 500 people in a giant conference room at the DoubleTree Hotel south of Seattle.
I was also shocked to see that, while Tom was local (he lived on Orcas Island), most of the attendees were from all over the country and indeed all over the world.
Tom Kenyon? Who was this guy?
I didn’t know but was about to find out.
For the first day and a half not much happens. It feels like Relationship 101, and I didn’t glean anything new. But Tom was a good speaker, funny and grounded. He did do some sound work where he seemed to channel sounds during some meditations, but nothing much seemed to happen. At least not to me.
In the afternoon on the second day, Tom announces that Mary Magdalene is present, and she wants to do some healing work.
Tom asks us to close our eyes and says that he is going to do some sound healing (vocal toning) and that if we see anything scary while we have our eyes closed to just “keep on walking.”
I close my eyes, and Tom begins his unusual toning. Nothing is happening to me, and I am annoyed because I am sitting under bright lights and am sure that I can’t see anything in my mind’s eye because the bright lights are penetrating my closed eyelids.
Maybe five minutes go by and still nothing is happening; I am mildly annoyed and keep shifting in my seat. And then . . .
What feels like a round tunnel three feet in diameter seems to open beneath my seat, and what feels like a blast furnace of energy erupts upward into my body with great force from below.
My entire body begins quaking, and then I begin to see every single wounding experience in my entire life in perfect chronological order. I see my terror in my first nightmare. I see my anguish when my parents took my baby blanket away from me. I see when my parents made me stay home on Halloween as punishment because I had wet the bed again and the sad, forlorn look on my face as I peered out the window and watched all the other kids out trick or treating. I see myself in a hospital all alone about to undergo major surgery and see a doctor inserting an adult-size catheter into my seven-year-old penis and me screaming in pain . . . on and on it goes. I see dozens of scenes— major and minor “woundings”—each and every one of them a brief three-second movie. At one point about ten minutes into it, my body is shaking and sweating, and the energy stops briefly, and a wordless voice says, “Do you want to continue?” I say, “Yes. I am tough”. And it all begins again exactly where it left off.
Twenty minutes later, it ends with the final wounding scene —my devastating divorce four years earlier. Through it all, I saw it and “kept on walking.”
My body is exhausted, and I am sweating profusely. I am simply stunned at what has taken place. Not only did the intense energy that blew into my body completely exhaust me, but the sort of life review of all the various wounding and difficult experiences in my life was incredibly draining.
I feel graced. I am devastated. And I am incredibly tired. I need a shower and a nap.
Later, after the weekend with Tom Kenyon was over, my wife shared with me that a voice had spoken to her on the first day that said, “John is not here for the information. He is here for the healing.”
How right she was.
But what was actually healed? Why was it necessary for me to review all the wounding experiences in my life again? Looking back, I have a sense that I had one last look at them all, a chance to learn and claim the seeds of wisdom from each and every experience, and then to move on. Over time, it is like somehow the memory of all those experiences is dead and gone, having faded into the sunset. Somehow it seems to me that healing is just that—a chance to claim the wisdom from each and every experience and then to get unstuck and move on.
To learn. To grow. To claim the wisdom. To feel the love. To embrace the experience. Then to move on. And then to not look back.
Whatever sort of tentative conclusions I have drawn about this experience with Tom Kenyon and Mary Magdalene, to this day I remain awed and mystified by what we loosely call healing . . . how it happens, when it happens, and the various transformations that take place over time afterward. I’m also mystified by why sometimes healing doesn’t happen—as if the various “woundings” serve a purpose as well, and until that purpose is fulfilled, no healing is forthcoming.
—-excerpt from The Synchronicity of Love by John David Latta